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An Extreme-Low-Frequency Station for Global Lightning Monitoring

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1994 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Pacific-sierra Research Corp.
2901 28th St Suite 300 Santa Monica, CA 90405
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1994
Title: An Extreme-Low-Frequency Station for Global Lightning Monitoring
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $62,727.00


We propose a sparse ELF receiver network to continuously monitor the global distribution of intense lightning flashes, and hence, convective storms. Our goal is to provide more accurate location and better sensitivity than is now available. These improvements will be achieved by (1) correcting for variations in phase velocity of ELF sferics in the earth-ionosphere waveguide and (2) possibly using a multi-station, range-only location method. A compact, low-noise sensor and analysis system is proposed that provides continuous, near real-time storm locations. This system will contain event detection algorithms that replace the present method of detecting events by visual inspection or hardcopied data. These new detection algorithms are essential for an autonomous system. The effectiveness of the hardware design and improved flash detection and location algorithms will be evaluated in terms of two criteria: (1) minimum flash intensity required for detection and location (hence, minimum storm size) and (2) error in flash location. The evaluation will include the use and placement of a global network of stations. In addition to the primary application of monitoring storms, the new system has application to environmental monitoring and global warming.

Principal Investigator:

Kenneth A. Poehls

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Pacific-sierra Research
2901 28th Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No